Sunday, January 16, 2011

It's All About the Prom Dress ... and a Little More

 (Tony Bowls)

Dare to Be Different ... 


Dare to Stand Out from the 
Cookie Cut-Out Prom Gowns
Dare to be You on Prom Night ...

(Girl Praying - Microsoft)

You strut to your own beat.  You have your own style and not afraid to use it.  Blending in is not an option.  So why should your prom dress be any different?  Why stray from you and see your dress on five other girls?  That's not happening, you say.  You're putting your prom gown where your mouth is and doing something different.   You're not a paper doll.  Be unique and show off your swerve.  


Happy Birthday ... Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.!  
His Powerful Legacy is Alive and Well in 2011.

(Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)

"If you refuse criticism you will end in poverty and disgrace; if you accept criticism you are on the road to fame."  Proverbs 13:18

"True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice."  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. -- From Stride Toward Freedom

Social Networking: The 21st Century Way to Find New Clients

As Aunt Kiki would say, 
Miracles and Blessings ... iCafe Woman Moderne Young Divas, Destiny here.  Guess what!  I'm hosting today's text-webisode:  It's All About the Prom Dress and a Little More.  A lot of us hang out here after last period and on Saturdays.  (PAUSES) Uh, ladies ... you missed your cue.  Sasha, Nikki, Brittany, Bella, Daria ... what are you guys waiting for ... say hey.


"What's this show about?"

YOUNG DIVAS (squealing)
"It's All About the Prom Dress ... Whoo-hoo!

"Who wants to look like everybody else at their prom?  Not me.   Eww!  So me, Sasha, Brittany and Bella decided to dress in Old Hollywood glamour, wearing high fashion vintage you'd see on the Oscar red carpet with Sidney Poitier, Hattie McDaniels, Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn ...  Go on Wikipedia Brittany, I know you're dying to tell us more."

 (Sidney Poitier - The Digital Political)

"Wikipedia Brittany? (SMILES) I like it!  In 1959, the year my Daddy was born, Sydney Poitier returned to the stage as "Walter Lee" in Lorraine Hansberry’s play A Raisin in the Sun, the  first Broadway play by a black playwright.  It was an eye-opener about black family life in the 1950s and an immediate hit.  Poitier also did the movie adaptation in 1961.  I wonder why he didn't do a cameo in the television version with P Diddy, a few years back?" 

"Anyway, in 1963, he became the first black man to win an Academy Award for Best Actor for Lillies of the Field.  This was during the time Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. won the Nobel Prize and Thurgood Marshall was appointed to the Supreme Court.  I saw the movie on DVD with my grand-mom.  "

(Cotton Club Dancers)

 (Cotton Club Orchestra - 1925)

  "My Nana Betty used to tell me stories about growing up in Sugar Hill Harlem and seeing Lena Horne sing with the Duke Ellington Band at the Cotton Club, and watching Dorothy Dandridge play Carmen Jones at the movie theater with her Debutantes."

 (Dorothy Dandridge)

"She found a place with a rare collection of African American entertainment from the 1930s to the 1970s."  
(Dorothy Dandridge)

"Before I knew it I was loving Miss Dorothy Dandridge too, the first African American actress nominated for Best Actress at the Academy Awards in 1954.  She lost to Grace Kelly in The Country Girl.  Can't you see her wearing this gold halter gown to a premiere?  I showed it to Nana Betty, she just grinned and said ... `That's my girl.'"

Gold Halter Gown

(Blue Velvet Vintage - $139.99)

It's so elegant ... so Dorothy Dandridge.  How are you wearing your hair?

The way she's wearing hers in the strapless gown, but I'm adding  gardenias like Hattie McDaniels wore in her hair at the Academy Awards when she won Best Supporting Actress.  She's the first African American to win an Oscar ... like ever.  It didn't happen again for another 24 years.  I'm hinting like crazy for a gardenia wrist corsage from my date, who will still remain nameless, so don't ask.   He's a surprise.  I'm not telling ... not yet.

 (Hattie McDaniels at the Oscars)  

"You are so wrong."

"I'll tell you what's wrong.  They sat Hattie at an obscure table in the back of the ballroom, and she couldn't go to her own movie premiere in Atlanta because of those disgusting Jim Crow laws.  Anyway ... Hattie won an Oscar in 1940 for playing Mammy in Gone With the Wind.  She stole the show.  She put humor and integrity into a role that could've been demeaning if somebody else played it.  I'm so glad I did my report on her in middle school.


"I don't get that time period."

"We don't have to get it, we just have to learn from it and not repeat it.  My Grandmom Ella did the sit-ins in Florida when she was a college student and fought for my mom to be bussed to a better school in a white neighborhood.  If our ancestors hadn't done those things my grandmother wouldn't be a retired professor, my mother probably wouldn't have gone on to medical school and become a obstetrician.  I wouldn't be making plans to be a physicist and hopefully entering the NASA training program.  And the closest I'd get to Harvard, would be a jar of beets.  I wouldn't be attending Harvard in the Fall.   

You're so right.  We owe it all to Dr. King, and Rosa Parks, and the black sanitation workers in Alabama who were brave enough to strike to get equal pay and benefits ... the slaves who escaped to freedom and build businesses and the generations of doctors, teachers, engineers and talk show hosts who came from them.  

BELLA (16)
What's insane is that Dorothy Dandridge, Lena Horne, Hattie McDaniels ... Pearl Bailey and a bunch of others still didn't achieve the same movie success their contemporaries received, and their talent should have given them.

My Grandmom Celeste says that Dr. King was a gift for all of us ... he opened the minds of those that were closed because of generations of ignorance.  Would we be picking out prom dresses together had it not been for the Civil Rights Movement?

(Black & White milkshakes - That's So Yoummy)


"You divas look like you can use these about now. Enjoy!"

"Let's toast to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr!"  

"To Dr Martin Luther King, Jr!  Thank you!

It sounds like your Nana Betty dug Dorothy Dandridge, the same way my Grand-mom Celeste idolized Marilyn Monroe.  She looks like a 68 year-old version of her with bifocals.  If this dress doesn't say Marilyn ... I don't know what does.  Silver or White?

Satin Swing Prom Dress

 (Blue Velvet Vintag - $114.99)

"You're all pointing to the white.  Okay.  I think I'll go with the silver.  What's so funny?  I so hate you.  That's why you said white, you knew I would pick the opposite.  I'm not laughing.  You all think you know me so well.  Dang it!"

NIKKI (17)
"Oh please ... you're an open Cosmo Girl Magazine.  Can we get to mine please?  My mom wants me to wear her lame Material Girl prom gown because I mentioned I was going vintage... not that kind of vintage.   I'm talking classy Roaring Twenties vintage designed in the New Millennium ... not that cheap Studio 54 eighties look.  Mom had a seamstress sew a corset camisole to a mid-calf tu-tu and called it her prom dress.  That's so not happening."

DARIA (17)
"Isn't the bodice of a flapper dress sort of corset-like?"

No, it's not, Daria.  It's classy ... roaring twenties ... not 1980s "Like A Virgin" Madonna."

Beaded Flapper Dress

(Sue Wong - $338)

This is my second choice.

 (Sue Wong - $438)

"Mom, can't get past the price.  Between my web design and cupcake businesses and my babysitting ... I've already earned the money ... so I'm good to go.  I just have to decide on which one to wear.  Oh, and I'm wearing one of those cute flapper style head pieces below.  I'll wear the first one with the silver dress and the second with the peach."
(Vintage Box- $48)


My inspiration is Miss Lena Horne.

(Lena Horne)

DARIA (17)
Big surprise ... your mom looks like a young Lena Horne.  So do you since you're her twin, but with an extra scoop of chocolate.

Two scoops.  I love the one-shoulder draped gown.  Since the style is popular today, I'm adding authentic accessories from my grandmother's (Ya-Ya) 1945 prom.  I'm wearing her satin shawl, pearls and evening bag.

(One-shoulder gown - Unique Vintage)

It won't be hard to figure out your inspiration, Bella.

"Who's Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina, Alex?"

BELLA (16)
Very funny.  Okay, so I can't get enough of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's and Sabrina.  What do you want ... I love old movies.  You can have MTV and VH1.


You were born way after your time.

"My aunt, a wedding gown designer, is helping me make it.  It'll be pink light satin with black embroidery.  Kyle's going to be my William Holden in a white dinner jacket tuxedo.  Too cute."

Don't you think you should wait and wear that for your senior prom?

I could, but I'm not.  I'm wearing it to Kyle's senior prom and my Junior prom.  What?  I'm wearing it without the train for my prom.


Are you kidding me?  You're wearing the same dress?

You can't wear the same dress to two proms, it's just not done.

Get another dress, please.

Everyone stop ... she's laughing.  

I got you good.  Momma didn't raise no fashion fool.  I'm wearing Sabrina for the Junior and Breakfast at Tiffany's at Pete's.  That's if it's alright with the peanut gallery.

 (Breakfast at Tiffany's)

Peanut gallery says yes.  Finally, it's my turn.  I'm keeping it real simple, but I still want to be different.  Since I'm 1/3 Chinese, I'm wearing an authentic Cheongsam gown to my Mom's delight.  She wasn't brave enough to wear one in the land of taffeta, puffed sleeves and ruffles.

Chinese Cheongsam Gown


"Well, that's it for now.  We'll do more accessories in a future text-webisode.  Just remember to be yourself and let your personality shine on prom night.  It's all about the dress!    

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